Irrespective of the industry, successful brands are dedicated to delivering the best-in-class customer service to drive customer loyalty. Interestingly, it means benefiting from a contact center to engage with their customers via different communication channels. With the global market value of call centers forwarding toward $496 billion (by 2027), many call center businesses are evolving towards greater success with cloud adoption.
You might have already considered the benefits if you plan to switch your call center to the cloud environment. But to do the groundwork, you need to invest time and effort in researching several hardware options and IT infrastructure setup, followed by regular maintenance and upkeep.
If all this sounds complicated and overwhelming, you can opt for a simpler, better alternative, Contact Center as a Service (CCaas). It is an alternative to the on-premise call center and provides a comprehensive communication solution for enhanced customer experience. It can help you streamline various customer touchpoints into one platform, such as live chat, phone calls, emails, and support tickets.
Want to go deeper into CCaaS? This complete guide is meant for you.
What is Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)?
Contact Center as a Service is a cloud-based method to deliver communication software infrastructure to businesses of all sizes. At its core, third-party CCaaS providers give you access to their contact center solution with all its features through highly scalable pay-as-you-go pricing. Besides this, you can also add specific business-oriented features as and when needed by paying an additional amount.
CCaaS (also known as hosted contact center software) is an offsite data center where businesses need not invest in expensive hardware, on-premise contact center setup, and an IT team. Instead, you can access features like ACD, IVR, chatbots, analytics, and more in the form of a regular subscription availed through the chosen provider.
Contact Center as a Service aims to consolidate several tools you can use to interact with customers. In addition, it enables you to customize various aspects related to the customer experience, with some key features including:
Deploying a CCaaS in a matter of days is quite attractive opportunity for call center businesses.
What are the Benefits of Contact Center as a Service?
Call centers are adopting cloud-based CCaaS technology to avail of the following benefits:
# 1. Enhanced Omnichannel Experience for Customers
Let’s take an example:
Tap into your customer’s shoes and look at the current process of submitting a query or asking for support –
A customer reaches your brand website or social media account to seek a way to reach out to your support team. There, he found a chatbot asking for his query through multiple steps about the issues faced. However, in the end, it again asks the customer to write an email to a specific email address, making him feel frustrated as he has already explained the problem.
Does it happen with your customers as well?
If yes, you must know that customers want the brands to communicate with them via their preferred channel of choice. If your current support system does not allow omnichannel communication, now is the time to switch to Contact Center as a Service. It will let you help your customers irrespective of their mode of communication, be it email, phone, or social media.
# 2. Dual Benefit of Cost Savings and Increased Employee Productivity
With CCaaS, you do not need to invest in hardware or software upfront, as with on-premise call center infrastructure. Neither does it require proprietary hardware that depreciates with time and requires upgrades.
The pricing plan is comparatively much lower than setting up the on-premise infrastructure and generally involves a monthly cost per user. For example, if your call center has a team of twenty members, you will only need to pay for a customized CCaaS plan for these members.
Besides the savings side, this cloud-based technology also offers phone capabilities and text, email, or social media integration. As a result, your live agents can provide a better customer support experience at scale.
# 3. Customer Support Centralization
According to research, a 15% improvement in First Call Resolution (FCR) can lead to a 57% reduction in repeat call numbers.
That’s a significant reduction and the related workload in a call center. But the question is – How will you improve the FCR in the first place?
This is possible with Contact Center as a Service, which houses all-inclusive customer data in one place rather than in separate tools. Your agents can view real-time customer sentiment, the nature of the request, and account value. Because of customer interaction tracking via this cloud-based service and real-time customer data at their fingertips, the agents can avoid uncertainty when offering help.
# 4. Reduces Downtime
If you are in the call center business, you might have a team of 100 agents or more. With Contact Center as a Service, you need not buy 1000 seats to handle the operations currently. Instead, you can add capacity whenever you want.
Besides this, upgrading an on-premise setup can result in downtime during which the clients cannot reach your support team, and salespeople cannot close the deals at hand.
The cloud-based contact center provides enterprise-grade reliability wherein the providers boast uptime of up to 99.999%. It simply means that your team of agents will stay operational no matter what happens.
# 5. Aids to Make Data-driven Decisions
While running a call center, which KPIs do you track to measure the overall performance?
Is it average time to answer, FCR, average abandonment rate, or call transfer rate? The next important question is – how efficiently can you track these KPIs?
By streamlining communication channels through Contact Center as a Service, businesses can better track the KPIs while having an eye on all contact channels from one centralized platform. Switching to CCaaS will help you make informed business decisions about customer experience faster and enable finding gaps in the support process to optimize them immediately.
Before we proceed towards the other CCaaS-related aspects, you should also know what differentiates a call center from a contact center.
Differences Between Call Centers and Contact Centers
While these terms are often used interchangeably, they serve customers using two different technologies. There are several fundamental differences between a call center and a contact center.
- Call centers mainly handle voice calls and are used for outbound and inbound calls for sales, support, and IT helpdesk.
- Contact centers can function via phone, email, chat, text message, and social media. You can consider them as call centers having more advanced functionalities.
Let’s simplify it for you. Since consumers can use separate channels to reach a business, the speed at which you answer their query and offer resolution is quite important. Businesses that primarily serve their customers can connect with a call center for its services. However, contact centers are ideal for organizations that aim to ensure an omnichannel customer support experience.
You should also know that the evolution of call centers does not end at CCaaS.
Recommended Read: What, Why, and How of Cloud Contact Center
CCaaS vs. UCaaS vs. CPaaS: Comparison
|Stands for Contact Center as a Service||Stands for Unified Communications as a Service||Stands for Communications Platform as a Service|
|Provides cloud-based contact center software on a pay-as-you-go basis||Syncs real-time omni-channel communication services within one interface automatically||Utilizes communication APIs to customize individual channels like voice, video, or messaging to existing apps or software|
|Easily scalable||Eliminate the need for integrating multiple communication applications||With CPaaS, you need to pick and choose specific communication channels for use|
|Popular features: ACD, IVR, call queueing, and more||Popular features: Video conferencing, chat messaging, business text messaging, and more||No built-in features available|
Also Read: 4 Key Pieces your Contact Center is Missing & You Don’t Even Know
Key Features of CCaaS You Should Look For
When you hire a CCaaS provider, it is crucial to understand how their service quality will improve the customer experience and streamline various business processes. Hence, it makes sense to consider the following features while comparing different vendors:
1. Real-time Communication
The availability of maximum communication channels will help you provide real-time communication with the customers. Remember that a Contact Center as a Service offering the highest number of channels is the best choice.
2. Self-service Options for Customers
The self-service features of Contact Center as a Service make your customers happy and the agents’ life a little easier. They are free to assist in complex support issues or make more outbound calls. Ideally, you should look for self-service features like IVR, automated customer callbacks, customer service chatbots, and others.
3. AI Automation
According to a survey, more than 40% of workers spend at least a quarter of their work week on repetitive tasks. In reference to call centers, businesses can automate various routine tasks with the help of AI. Therefore, your contact center provider should provide AI-backed solutions having features such as Speech Recognition and NLP, automatic call logs, and automated follow-up scheduling.
4. Interaction Tools for Agents
Your CCaaS provider should help your agents organize their work-related tasks and keep track of their support interactions with different customers. In addition, it should provide features like omnichannel routing, third-party CRM interactions, workforce management tools, call forwarding, call waiting, and more.
Common CCaaS Use Cases
- Debt collection agencies that need to send payment reminders accept payments and provide account updates to their customers in an automated manner.
- Call center or telemarketing firms that make outbound calls, receive orders from customers over the phone, and provide customer service.
- Healthcare professionals that need to manage insurance plans, schedule appointments, and send appointment reminders.
How to Deploy Contact Center as a Service?
A cloud contact center uses Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to receive and make calls via the Internet. To deploy CCaaS, you need workstations, headsets, and an Internet connection. The chosen CCaaS provider will manage the required contact center infrastructure. Once deployed, you can adjust the ACD and IVR via an online platform.
Once this is done, your team can begin to respond to the support requests by signing into the contact center software.